Material and Intellectual Rights of Oral History Works-2

The publication "Surah Mehr" focuses on respecting the equal rights of the parties

Compiled by: Maryam Asadi Jaghari
Compiled by: Fazel Shirzad

2023-10-31


Note: To continue the issue of material property rights and intellectual property of oral history works and heritage notes without a legal system, we discussed with Surah Mehr Publications. This time, the reporter of oral history website has interviewed the responsible manager of Fatihan Publications about material and intellectual rights:

 

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General Ali Nazeri, the responsible manager of Fatihan Publications, who has been working in the field of publishing sacred defense books for about 13 years, said about the policy of this publication regarding the material and moral rights of oral history works: "We are not only a publisher, but also a cultural director. Organization for preserving the works and publishing the values of the sacred defense of the Revolutionary Guards and the Basij of 32 provinces; That is, we manage about 33 independent publications of this organization, and considering the importance of reflecting the role of different sections of society in the war, the importance of our work shows itself more than ever and makes our publishing field more complex.

Referring to the organization's cooperation with internal and external authors, he continued: "Since the structure of the organization for the preservation of works is a government structure, we predicted a special type of contract with the authors, which is to conclude a direct contract with the author. Private or more professional publishers like Surah Mehr, in addition to paying the initial amount, also give the author a percentage of the book sales, based on the back cover price. That is, they also share the author in the sale of later editions, and their point of view is that this makes the author more motivated, but since we are a military group, we cannot legally make the organization indebted to individuals; So we did not use this method. That is, we buy the book from the author, and he will not have any other rights in terms of financial ownership for the work. Unless he brings a title in the festivals and is given a gift or receives an amount for the subsequent editions of the book, he will not benefit from the subsequent editions of the book. Of course, for each reprint, we give a number of books to the author and the narrator."

In response to the question of whether they have ever had a problem with a writer or a narrator with this type of contract, Fatihan's manager said: "Until this moment, we have not had any problems with any writer or narrator. The narrators of the collection of memoirs or works of oral history where several narrators have spoken in one work have not raised the financial issue so far and only wanted a few copies of the book, which we have done. I must also say about the authors, when they sign the contract, pay the tax, they move the work step by step, the work is sent for evaluation, it is corrected and again, we hand over the book for correction, and in the final stage we will settle the account. So what complaint can arise? While all the aspects are mentioned in the contract and the author has signed it. These indicate their satisfaction with the type of contract. If they have a complaint, we will say, "Didn't you read the contract?"

An observer also emphasized about narrator's financial and spiritual rights: "For example, the book "Khin's Moon" including the memoirs of General Martyr Hossein Hamdani was published when narrator was alive and from that time until the end of his life, apart from a number of books, nothing from us did not request because these narrators believed that their memories should be passed on to the next generation in continuation of the mission of war. Mrs. Zahra Jalili, the daughter of martyr Abdullah Jalili, one of the martyrs of Hamedan province, wrote the life of her father based on interviews with her mother and his comrades and gave us the book "Romantic Appointments: Memories of martyr Abdullah Jalili". We asked him if we should pay for the book. In response, he said that the book belongs to my father, so I don't want money and just give me a few copies of the book. We also gave him 100 copies out of 500 copies of the first edition and another 50 copies. Even the narrator of the best-selling book "Soldier of the Cloudy Years" calls once in a while and only takes a few books from us. Until this moment, no narrator has approached us to receive a fee, and we think that material motives should not enter into the space of narration, because in the end, it will be harmful."

This cultural manager explained the harmfulness of the introduction of material motives into the narration space as follows: "There is a possibility that the narrator may exaggerate or fantasize his memories in order to make the book more attractive and readable, and downplay the flaws and defects of his own work or to highlight other people's issues. When material issues are involved, it even affects the way of expression. When we are supposed to give a percentage of the back cover to the narrator, he may agree to say anything for more sales and money. We believe that the narrator should not enter the material space related to the book but since the narrator's efforts should not be wasted, he will see the result of his work in the form of a book, and we will provide him with a space for narration in gatherings and memorials, and we will provide him with copies of the book."



 
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